Diversity and inclusion are more than business buzz-words. They are essential to creating an environment that promotes and leverages talent where everyone has the opportunity to succeed. Do you know how to create a culture of inclusion? One key to increasing inclusion is to talk about differences.
In this video “To Speak Up for Inclusion,” RBC invited people from all walks of life, including RBC leaders, to have frank and honest conversation about inclusion.
Here are three things you need to consider so you can Speak Up for Inclusion in your workplace.
#1: Understand the Impact of Bias
Bias exists—in the workplace and outside of it. Whether it’s the assumption that a new parent is less committed to their career; or the way we judge people based on appearances; or assign a predetermined story about someone’s character, we see the world through stereotyped lenses. When it comes to inclusion, ignoring the need to examine our biases doesn’t work. What does work is learning where your biases lie so that you can make a concerted effort to work on any preconceived viewpoints. One good step is to take my biased quiz. This can help you learn about automatic assumptions that occur all the time, which is the first step to overcoming these assumptions.
#2: Discuss Cultural Differences
When you bring together people from different cultures, misunderstandings based on differing expectations are almost unavoidable. Judgments about what is right or wrong through our individual lens impedes our openness to understand another’s experiences and perspectives. One way to open up a dialogue about this in the workplace is to have cultural education programs and/or discussions. This is an opportunity for people to ask questions and gain understanding, which can help bridge differences down the road. We can benefit from candid conversations.
#3: Invite People to Speak Up
First, create an environment of safety. Encourage people to speak up and share perspectives. This is particularly important if someone is from a marginalized group. Exclusion is often born of fear of the unknown. Inclusion is an individual responsibility. Instead of jumping to conclusions and judgments, be curious. Invite conversation. Be interested. It can make for a more inviting, comfortable workplace in the long run. And, it contributes to greater collaboration.
It takes effort to change from a culture of exclusion to a culture of inclusion. What’s important is continuing the work. Speak up for inclusion by being willing to examine exclusion and speak about inclusion. Talk about the elephant in the room.
Continue this conversation on social media: #SpeakUpforInclusion.